Little Creatures

Today our afternoon was full of little creatures. After school, one of Little Mr.'s friends opened his lunchbox and pulled out 3 fat caterpillars. The boys spent 45 minutes building houses and habitats for them. Then we accepted an invitation to another friend's house and off we went. One of the 3 fat caterpillars came along for the ride in the "bug-jar" we had in the car.

Little Mr. and his friend scampered off for a bug search in the garden and the children came chasing in a few minutes later, announcing that they'd found a butterfly. Upon parental inspection, it was determined that this was a moth. We had never seen a moth like this and had no idea what type it was. Because of it's pure white color and luxurious "fur" collar, several names were conjectured -- Princess Moth? Emperor Moth? Ermine Moth? I've spent the past few minutes on the internet but have not had luck identifying it. Thankfully, the children left the moth where it was -- I'm very ambivalent about scooping up little wild creatures and popping them in jars... more on that later...
Because Little Mr. had such a good time playing with bugs all afternoon, he wanted to continue the fun when we got home. Out to the garden we went to turn over large rocks. The underside of most rocks yielded the usual suspects -- ants, slugs, earwigs & pill bugs -- but we hit the jackpot under the final rock... a batrachseps attenuatus (California slender salamander) We plopped it in a jar so Little Mr. could show his father when he got home from work. My plan was to let the poor creature go once it had been enthusiastically admired. That was not Little Mr.'s plan. I begged and pleaded on behalf of the little animal. My cries fell on deaf ears. Finally, Little Mr. and his father filled a container with dirt & rocks & leaves. The little salamander is much happier but I still want to let him go.

Here you can see him playing hide and seek... Little Mr. will be heartbroken but I'm determined to release him.

P.S. To A. -- I hope you do not find that fat caterpillar in your house (you know the one I mean... the one which traveled from the lunchbox to the school yard to your house...) I really hope it fell out of the bug-jar when Little Mr. was on the tall oak-tree swing in the garden... really...

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